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Charter commission seeks input on proposed amendments

The Maui News

Maui County Charter Commissioners are encouraging the public to share their thoughts on the current proposed amendments and give spoken or written testimony at upcoming public meetings on Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. via BlueJeans.

The commission passed 85 charter amendment proposals, which have been condensed into 40 ballot proposals and related ballot questions for the commission’s further consideration.

In addition to public comment, written testimony can be sent via email to Charter.Commission@mauicounty.gov at least two business days prior to the meetings.

This process happens once every 10 years. Input from the public is important to getting the best proposals on the ballot for the election in November.

Proposals can be found in the commission’s “Draft Report” to the Maui County Council, which will be posted on http://www.mauicounty.gov/ CharterCommission.

Ten of the potentially most impactful ballot proposals that the commission will consider include:

• Change council elections from at-large elections to elections within 3 county districts; require that at least 1 council member reside in each of the following areas: East Maui; Molokai; Lanai; create a Reapportionment Commission which will determine the boundaries of the three regional districts and the East Maui residency area.

• Change the appointment, retention, and qualifications of the Corporation Counsel, make the term of the Corporation Counsel five years, and provide that the Council may remove the Corporation Counsel without the Mayor’s concurrence.

• Eliminate the Maui Planning Commission; establish new planning commissions for each community plan area; reduce the number of planning commissioners to seven per commission.

• Bifurcate the Department of Housing & Human Concerns; create the Housing Development Board and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Liaison within the Department of Housing.

• Make the Board of Water Supply semi-autonomous; Change Appointment and Removal of Director and Deputy of Water Supply.

• Create the Department of Oiwi Resources to ensure proper management of Oiwi (Native) cultural resources throughout the county and to design and implement programs to care for and/or develop Oiwi resources, including the Hawaiian language, cultural practices, place names, historical and archival materials, cultural sites, iwi and burials, and the variety of natural resources used in cultural practices.

• Change how the members of the Board of Ethics are appointed; Create a new position of the Director of Ethics.

• Create an appointed Community Commission, an appointed executive secretary, and elected Community Boards, similar to the neighborhood board system.

• Create a County Hearings Officer Department and require that all contested cases be heard by a County Hearings Officer, exclude the Police Commission, Board of Ethics, and Board of Review.

• Create an Independent Selection Commission to recommend nominees for the County Clerk, Auditor, Corporation Counsel, Prosecutor, and other officers, and to appoint the officers if the Mayor or Council fails to act.

For more information and to join Maui Charter Commission meetings via BlueJeans, visit http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission.

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